Independence Day is right round the corner, and with it falling on Saturday this year, there’s really no reason not to be part of the celebrations. Food makes for a big part of the revelry—be it your picnic basket, backyard barbecue, or pie-eating contests across the nation, #4thOfJuly is certainly a time to celebrate your love for food.
With that said, we present a roundup of Independence Day events and ideas that involve loads of food and drinks in red, white and blue:
1. Eat A Dog
New York City either goes big or goes home, and the same applies for its fourth of July celebrations. Explosive firework shows take place each year, with Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks cascading over the East River for 2015. What we’re really waiting for, though, is Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, which takes place on Coney Island and has become one of the most iconic NYC events in the past decade.
For more details, visit Nathan’s Famous.
2. Contests Galore
About a three-hour drive south of Portland, Oregon, a trip to Bend is well worth the effort. Make your way to Drake Park to be a part of the all-day Old Fashioned July 4th Festival. The day begins with a pancake breakfast at 8am. Participate in the first annual pie-eating contest, or try your luck in the watermelon-eating competition. The events will take place from 8am to 4 pm; the entry is free.
For more details, visit Bend Park & Recreation District.
3. Bring Picnic Baskets
The City of Mandeville, Louisiana, hosts a holiday celebration with the lakefront open to picnicking (otherwise prohibited) from 11am to 9pm. Glass bottles and charcoal grills are banned; only propane grills are allowed. The Old Mandeville Business Association will be selling food, and the Mandeville ART Collaborative organization will be selling refreshments. The entry is free.
For more details, visit City of Mandeville, Louisiana.
4. All-American Festival
This event at the Peoria Sports Complex includes three eating contests, where challengers will stuff their faces as fast as they can with foods such as tater tots, foot-long hot dogs, and Route 44 slushes. Bring blankets and lawn chairs. Food and beer will be available in plenty. The event will take place from 5pm to 10pm at 16101 N 83rd Ave, Arizona.
For more details, visit City of Peoria.
5. Independence Day Breakfast
Head to Westlake Village, California, for the Fourth of July Pancake Breakfast and Family Parade. The breakfast begins at 8am. Hot dogs will be available for sale for $1 from the Rotary Club of Westlake Village, the proceeds from which will go to support a local Veteran’s group. The Tres Wagner Cancer Project will be selling baked goods to help raise funds for their non-profit organization.
For more details, visit Westlake Village, California.
6. Burger Binge
Celebrate Independence Day with America’s favorite food at Fall Creek Vineyards’ Burgers ‘n’ Blues in Texas. Sizzling hot burgers will be served right off the grill until 2pm; then, you can spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying wine tastings, tours and live blues music. The fee of $16.95 covers your picnic lunch, but wine will be sold separately.
For more details, visit Fall Creek Vineyards’ Burgers ‘n’ Blues.
7. Independence Day At Independence
There’s no better way to celebrate fourth of July than at a place named Independence, drinking beer! Independence Brewing’s 4th of July Brew & BBQ event will have live music from the Mutton Busters and Palomino Shakedown, and food from Wunder Pig Barbecue Co and the Good Times Ice Cream trucks. And there will be beer, of course, including Independence Brewing’s new summer RedBud. The entry is free, from 12 noon to 7pm.
For more details, visit Independence Brewing.
8. Fourth Of July Cruise
View the fireworks from the paddle wheeler and cruise down the Mississippi River, while listening to some great live music and sipping on themed cocktails. Dinner is a buffet of American favorites such as barbecue chicken, pulled pork, baked beans, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, white chocolate bourbon bread pudding and more. Boarding begins at 8pm; fireworks start at 9pm.
For more details, visit Creole Queen.
Here’s hoping that you have a happy, gastronomic Independence Day.